Carlson School of Management Assistant Professor Aaron Sojourner has been appointed as a senior economist on President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA).
Sojourner’s duties will include helping to prepare briefings for the president on labor market and education topics, and contributing to the annual Economic Report of the President. One regular task will be to help interpret the “jobs report” that is published each month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“I became a labor economist because I believe well-functioning labor markets and education systems are critical foundations of prosperity for families, communities, and for our nation,” says Sojourner. “Federal policy can strongly influence how well these systems work. I am excited and humbled by this opportunity to serve our country and to help bring our field’s best theory and evidence into policy discussions at this level.”
Established by Congress in 1946, the CEA is charged with offering the president and his staff with objective economic advice on the formulation of both domestic and international economic policy. The council is supported by up to 10 senior economists who focus on different aspects of the economy.
They are selected for one-year terms on the basis of their body of work and the needs of the council. Sojourner will be a senior economist specializing in labor economics.
He does research in three areas: policies to promote efficient and equitable development of human capital through investments in early childhood and K-12 education, impacts of labor-market institutions, and behavioral consumer finance.
Sojourner will begin his term in late August and remain in the role following the change of administrations next January.
Sojourner has a PhD in economics from Northwestern University, a master’s in public policy analysis from the University of Chicago, and a bachelor’s in history from Yale University. He has been in the Department of Work and Organizations in the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management since 2009.